Invigorating spring and summer colour schemes for your home

Invigorating spring and summer colour schemes for your home

It’s your home, and everyone loves the personal touch that decorating brings to your room. This summer, it’s all about the style statement, so don’t whimper out and opt for bland colours, take one of these striking colour palates and incorporate it into your home.

Black and White

It might seem like a simple and classic combination, however done right, the black and white palette adds real depth to a room, especially when utilised with a modern and contemporary twist. From incorporating the style into the wall decoration with a striped design, to adding furniture and decorations that complement the style perfectly, you have a whole heap of options when it comes to this colour palette. Here are some of our favourite room additions with this colour scheme.

Black and White Chevron Rug – Urban Outfitters, £69.

Chevron Lampshade In Black – Not On The High Street, £30

Bossenden Wall Clock – House Of Fraser, £40

Coastal Cool

With the sun baking down, and the mild breeze providing a refreshing cool as it calmly blows over the garden and into your home, you can be forgiven for allowing your mind to wander with daydreams of a beached coastline, with radiant heat beaming down and the cool ocean waves whipping at your toes as you stroll over the perfect white sands. It sounds idyllic, but for most of us, the majority of our summer will be spent at home, so now is the perfect time to implement those elements of coastal cool into your house. It gives your rooms a light, breezy feel and with cool vibrant colours, it provides plenty of energy. Colours to incorporate are vast, but mainly focus on aquatic blues and greens, sandy yellows and natural browns.

MissPrint Home Dashes Cushion – John Lewis, £28

Wooden Frame Tealight Holder – Laura Ashley, £22

The Ascot Rug – The Rug Seller, £75-£359

European Clean

In the summer, there’s not colour that emphasises the warmth quite like a clean crisp white. We see it time and time again in the world of sashion, expecially in the summer. Be it in a light and airy linen shirt for a man, or a striking dress or jeans on a woman, white is a colour that really comes into its own in the warmer months. Although it might not be the most practical of solutions, the colour will provide a refreshing and fresh feel. Use white as a neutral backdrop, and then accessorize with statement complimentary pieces in your favourite colors, or create a monochromatic design by enveloping the room in an all-white palette. Mix and match with tones from the coastal cool selection, to add a real touch of summer to your rooms.

Knitted Pouffe – Etsy, £65

Baby Betty Vases – Brissi, £24

 

This article was provided exclusively to First Home News by Kate Hobbs, who has a passion for home interiors and trends.

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Boring to beautiful homes in 6 simple steps
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Boring to beautiful homes in 6 simple steps

Your home is not only a place to lay your head, but a reflection of your individuality. Regularly updating the look of your home will help maintain a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere without running the risk of boredom. In order to achieve this, we’ve compiled our six top tips on how to transform your place from being boring into beautiful home, with little cost and minimal effort.

 

Wall Murals

Plain, dull coloured walls in a room can instantly add a sense of monotony when not used creatively. To brighten up lifeless walls around your home, design, create and paint your own mural. By choosing one singular wall as your focus point, adding a mural not only adds a sense of individuality to your room, but also saves on the expense of redecorating. For those of you who are less artistic, wall stickers are available for a quick fix to any room.

 

Storage Solutions

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Storage space is key when it comes to de-cluttering your home. Not only are storage boxes efficient, but they are also cheap. Store those rarely used belongings under your bed and inside your closet. By moving these items out of sight, focus is shifted on the remaining pieces of furniture in the room, whilst also giving the appearance of larger space. Alternatively, if you prefer to proudly display your collections, invest in some conventional storage shelves and cabinets to place around your home.

 

Accessorise

A patterned duvet is no longer enough to create that homely bedroom feel. By investing in cushions, throws and blankets, you are not only increasing the comfort of your bedroom, but also creating a more relaxed environment. Similarly, invest in contrasting cushions and throws for your living space in order to refresh the look of other rooms around the house.

 

Interior Lighting

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Lighting has a significant effect on the mood and ambiance within any room. Soft lighting creates a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, whereas bright, florescent lighting can be harsh. In order to achieve a relaxed atmosphere and sense of style within a room, invest in candles, crystal lampshades and fairy lights. Make sure you also make the most out of the natural light provided.

 

Improve your Exterior

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If the view outside your front room is not overly pleasing on the eye, distract yourself and visitors by making the view inside a more appealing one. With a variety of blinds, curtains and nettings, you can make sure the inside look attractive and stylish, even if the outside does not.

 

Personal Touch

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Finally, nothing says home sweet home quite like a display of framed family photographs. By hanging them along the hall, above the mantel piece or across the walls, the faces of your loved ones will brighten up any room within your home.

 

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Home touches for the ultimate spring feel
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Home touches for the ultimate spring feel

We might still be in February, but to the optimistic amongst us, Spring is just around the corner. With the warmer days  hopefully soon arriving on the horizon, despite cold temperatures, the sunshine is just beginning to peek through the clearing clouds. It’s never too early to shake off the misery of winter and implement spring into your home, so with that in mind, here are our top tips for getting an early start on your spring decor.

Kitchen: Cooking with Colour

Many kitchens sport drab matching walls and a spaghetti stained backsplash. A spot of paint can change that. Choose a paint colour like bright orange, yellow or sky blue for one wall or area. A streak of highlight will renew your faith in spring veggies and freshly baked bread. Take your update to the next level by purchasing a coloured mixing bowl, bright spatula, blender or toaster matching the colour of your freshly painted wall. Guests will appreciate your thought to go the extra step in contrasting your stainless steel accessories with a few coloured ones. Your kitchen is going to pop and you can revel in your mastery after just an hour with the paintbrush.

Bathroom: Appropriate accessories

No matter what colour scheme your bathroom is, throwing away the plastic accessories and updating them with rustic things from around the house will make your room a much more inviting space. Update the toilet paper holder with a wicker basket you’ve been using for random bits and bobs. Grab unused containers and fill them with all your cotton essentials. Take an empty vase and fill with freshly cut flowers or some bright artificial ones to provide a real feel of spring. And the ultimate trick for the ladies, a cake stand is the perfect way to show off and keep your makeup organised for a fuss free morning.

Bedroom: Perfect pillows

Decorate with a few spring coloured throw pillows to get your home completely revamped for the summer days. You can recover the old pillows with your own fabric or buy an entire new set. The bed is the staple item in the bedroom, so find your favourite comforter to snuggle up. Really tired of your old room? Cover the headboard with a bright or striped fabric to give off a plush new bedroom aura.

Living Areas: Recover your drab lamps

The simple task of changing a lamp cover will shake off gloomy winter nights and help you to embrace spring. Choosing one piece to change in a room is a quick fix and you’ll see a noticeable difference. Go to your local homeware store to see what colours could brighten up your room. Don’t assume popping pink is your only choice, but a light yellow, bold colour or fun new print could do your home the favour it’s been seeking. Don’t want to buy an entire new lampshade? Choose from hundreds of fabric choices at the craft store. With scissors, adhesive, a trim piece and a bit of patience, you’ll have yourself a statement new decorative item.

Outdoors: Get in the Garden

Plants bring life to a home in every way. The freezing temperatures of January and February have now passed and it’s time to dig up the weeds and leftover foliage of the winter. Spring geraniums, begonias, and pansies are all great summer plants that will continually bloom throughout the warmer months. Don’t have the luxury of a front garden or a home in the countryside? Make room for a few potted plants inside your home on bookshelves and the mantel piece, as will add a feel of spring to your home, even on the rainy summer days.

Photo Credit: jinkazamah via Compfight cc

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Top ways to bring light into your home this winter
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Top ways to bring light into your home this winter

In the dark days of winter, making the most of the natural light in your home is a great way to not only save on your electricity bills but to also bring out the best in your furnishings and homeware. Here are some top tips on making your house a brighter home this winter…

 

Clutter-free windowsills

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Crowded windowsills can block natural light so try to keep them as clear as possible. Also, keep an eye on any trees or hedges outside your window, as overgrown outdoor plants can stop any light from coming in.

 

Make the most of mirrors

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Mirrors reflect light, so if you hang a mirror opposite a source of natural light, you are automatically doubling the amount of light coming into your room. You could also add mirrored accessories to your room such as wall hangings or photo frames to increase the effect.

 

Stick to light colours

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Like mirrors, lighter colours reflect light so stick to cream, white or cool-toned walls with large furnishings, such as a sofa of a similar shade. You can then accessorise with darker coloured cushions, shelving or rugs.

 

Consider a skylight

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They may be a costly home improvement, but skylights can make a great alternative to windows, especially in rooms that receive lots of natural light. They are also great for letting in warmth and can be beautiful to look out of on a starry night.

 

Install glass doors

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Interior or exterior doors with glass panelling are a great way to let natural light spread from room to room. They open up your house whilst still soundproofing the room at the same time.

 

Keep it clean!

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Last but not least, don’t neglect your duster! Mirrors and skylights may look the part but keeping your lightshades, bulbs and windows clean is always the first step in making the most of the light, whether natural or powered, in your home.

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Clever home additions to give your rooms the wow factor
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Clever home additions to give your rooms the wow factor

Searching for some inspiration on ways you can liven up your home? If you’re wanting to make a striking difference to your house, without undertaking large-scale renovations, here are some of our favourite home additions and inventive ways to add a ‘wow’ to your home.

 

Make use of the space under your stairs

Under stair storage

Image: quora.com
Stray away from the conventional and make the most of the underside of your staircase. It looks cool whilst also allowing you to utilise space for storage.

 

Use the space around your skirting boards

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Image: familyhandyman.com

Another area of the home we simply overlook, however this is a space that is perfect if you’re looking for extra storage.

 

Make shower cleaning easier

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Image: blogs.cotemaison.fr
Especially if you plan on redecorating your shower area – making a wet room, or walk-in shower is ideal and prevents you having to keep glass sparkling clean.

 

Creative in the kitchen?

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Image: myhomelookbook.com
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a whiz in the kitchen, make your chef time efficient. Install island storage perfect for the items you need when you’re cooking, as it will cut down on preparation when gathering your ingredients. Keeping important foods close at hand will prevent you having to dash around.

 

Get inventive with your kids room

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Image: houzz.com
Small homes and limited rooms can make it tough to provide your children in a bedroom they can get excited about. However, a small room doesn’t have to mean dull and cramped. Get inventive with space, and take on one of these impressive bunk bed room designs.

 

Make your fireplace a feature

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Image: myhomelookbook.com

It doesn’t have to be as striking as the image shows, but a homely, timeless fireplace can be a real focal point to your room.

 

Fire pit

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Image: ACM Design Architects
While it’s a bit early in the year to be planning your summer, make sure that your patio is ready for those long summer nights in the warmth.

 

Main image CC licence via commons.wikimedia.org

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Nine signs you’re in a house with kids

Nine signs you’re in a house with kids

So you’ve just moved into your new dream home and are finally getting your possessions and interiors just how you always imagined them. However, if you’re a proud parent, it’s highly likely that your home won’t be staying clean, neat and tidy for long. Here are the top nine signs that the kids run your home.

 

Toys cover the floor

Your living room carpet is a lovely shade of red that you picket to match the walls…if only you could see it under the ocean of toys left lying around…

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Photo credit: Free to use via Pixabay

 

You’re constantly recovering from stepping on Lego

That constant throbbing ache you’re experiencing in your foot, that’s from standing on Lego for the 20th time.

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Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

 

Peppa Pig will dominate your DVD cabinet

Film nights in your home now turn into an expedition, as you dig your way through Peppa Pig DVD’s to find your film of choice.

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Photo credit: Kenneth Lu via Flickr

Think you’re using the iPad? Think again…

You can forget about doing a bit of shopping on your iPad, that’s been reserved for Angry Birds for the foreseeable future.

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Photo credit: Abeckstrom via Flickr.

 

Good luck changing the TV channel

Your default TV station is now Nickelodeon, and good luck finding the remote control, it’s likely to be buried between sofa cushions – enjoy!

 

Be careful not to break the step stool

The kids’ step stool will constantly trip you up in the toilet and bathroom. Watch your feet, as before you know it you’ll have a stubbed toe and the stool will be skidding across to the other side of the room.

 

Neat rolls of toilet paper?

Forget about it, that’s a thing of the past. If you’re after toilet paper, it’s likely to be strewn over the floor, or re-rolled in an untidy manner.

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Photo credit: Gorillasushi via www.flickr.com

Destroy walls and skirting boards

Decorating your home should leave a room in pristine condition for the foreseeable future, not yours though. Chipped skirting boards, drawings on the walls and scratch marks will be more familiar to you.

Grubby marks…

They’re everywhere. Whether it’s your white doors are plastered in food, or the leather sofa with smears of Sudocrem, you undoubtedly feel like you’ve always got a cloth at hand to quickly wipe down surfaces.

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Image credit: St0rmz via Flickr

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Kerr Drummond’s top tips for making your first home your dream home

Kerr Drummond’s top tips for making your first home your dream home

Whilst moving into your first home is a real life milestone, it’s a time which is extremely hectic. Once you’ve got your house bought, and are finally moved in, it’s time to get cracking and stamp your own personal style on the home. If you’re searching for the best ways of making your first home into your dream home, here are some top tips, courtesy of interior designer and TV personality, Kerr Drummond.

Don’t be scared!

For most first time buyers, once the expense of investing in your new home is committed to there won’t be a huge amount of cash left for home improvements, so don’t be scared to do some of the work yourself – modern tools and materials are so well designed that even a complete novice shouldn’t be scared to try a bit of DIY. Tasks such as wallpapering and painting are easier now than they have ever been and if you are unsure use the internet as it is full of information. Take the Solvite “Help & Advice” section for example, which has lots of useful videos and a really handy tool that helps you choose the right product for each individual job.

Don’t be tempted to do loads of work on your new home as soon as you move in.

My most successful designs are achieved when I’m working with a client who has lived in the property for a while first. Having lived in the property for some time you will gain a lot of information such as which rooms benefit from natural light and which don’t – this is especially important when it comes to decorating, choosing colour schemes etc. You will also find out what does and doesn’t work about the existing layout in the kitchen and bathrooms, which will allow you to come up with improved designs for these rooms if necessary.

Trust your taste and don’t give in to trends.

The look I always try to achieve is one that is timeless.

Wallpaper is your friend!

Consider wallpapering as oppose to painting, especially in older properties where the plaster finish on walls is not great – a decent filler, lining and wallpaper will hide these imperfections and won’t cost you nearly as much as re-plastering and then decorating.

Consider which room is most important to you.

For some the kitchen is the heart of the home, for others it’s the living room. Allocate your budget accordingly.

Don’t be scared of adding some personality to your new home.

Too many people obsess over keeping their home neutral (another word for Beige) in case they ever want to sell it…I think we should be more inclined to worry about this once we have actually decided to sell the property – redecorating before a sale is not something we should be scared of. So if flock wallpaper and rich colours are your thing go for it!

Use local specialists.

If you are investing in a new kitchen or bathroom head down to a local independent specialist as oppose to one of the national brands – they will be more inclined to give you what you want as oppose to what they have been told to sell to you by head office. They will also develop a relationship with you, which should serve you well as you climb the property ladder.

Visit design shows to get inspiration.

Magazines are great but being able to see products first hand is really important. Many manufacturers use design shows to showcase new products so you will be up to date on what is on the market – be it kitchens, bathrooms or wall coverings.

Make a scrap book of design ideas and styles that you like, from magazine cuttings. Continuity of theme when home decorating is often a good idea to make the whole house work aesthetically and feel right but many of us don’t know what style it is that we like until we put all our ideas together and see that there is a theme running through it.

Don’t be tempted to buy copy-cat-products just because they’re cheaper.

Whether it’s kitchen appliances or wallpaper paste, in the world of interior design and D.I.Y. you generally get what your pay for so stick to a brand you know and trust.

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Winter additions for your bedroom

Winter additions for your bedroom

The cold has arrived, and it’s time to start looking at the best bedroom additions to make for a warm and cosy bedroom environment this winter. Winter can be a magical and enchanting time of year, but with the cold weather and the night drawing in early, it can also be a little depressing. With the bare and icy landscape outdoors, make your home a place of cosiness and comfort. Creating a warm feel in the bedroom will inspire feelings of happiness and relaxation, so here are some simple additions that you can make to transform your bedroom into the perfect escape from the cold winter weather.

Colour

Not only does this make for a cosier and warmer setting, but by focussing on the colour of your bedroom, you can brighten your room and your mood. There is no denying that colour affects our mood, so with the all-white winter landscape combined with grey skies outdoors, bring in some sunny uplifting colours such as yellows, oranges.  If you don’t want a bold colour, consider autumnal and winter shades such as reds, blues and greens. Once you have the right colour scheme, it will be easier to choose and coordinate your winter additions accordingly.

Candles

With the lack of warmth and darkness of winter, now is the perfect time to add a romantic touch to your bedroom. Candles are a favoured choice by many wanting to inject some low light and fragrance into the air, so experiment with different colours and scents to create your perfect ambience. You can also play around with ways to house your candles, lanterns are a popular choice, but you can also try rustic candle holders, jars, bottles or even a glass pillar to add a personal touch to your bedroom.

Rugs

If your bedroom lacks character, a trendy rug can instantly make your room appear fuller and cosier. Make this a personal choice, whether it be sheepskin, a slumber rug, traditional pattern, wool rug, or tuft; consider what will go with the rest of your interiors and think carefully about the colour; mink, cream, red or grey you can make this your centrepiece. Whether it be bold or natural remember that less is more, you don’t want your room to appear cramped, so chose the size accordingly to suit the size and shape of your room.

Extra pillows and blankets

When keeping a stash of extra blankets and pillows, pay attention to  the colour and texture. Thick and cosy blankets are irresistible in the colder months, what is better than curling up in front of a warm fire with a book? Especially in the bedroom, clutter your bed with textured cushions of differing colours and sizes. Also, add a seasonal knitted, fluffy, teddy or fleece throw to the end of the bed to make your bedroom seem even more inviting, and the overall ambience one of relaxation and comfort.

Lights

Brighten your room with an injection of light and transform a glum mood and a darkened room with fairy lights, lanterns or twinkle lights on the ceiling and furniture. Explore ways to creatively incorporate a star- like shine and a magical, enchanting ambience in your bedroom this winter. Avoid stark, harsh lighting and stick to warm yellow tones to emit a soothing low light and add radiance to your bedroom.

 

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Autumn additions on a budget

Autumn additions on a budget

With the summer now over, and the dark autumn nights drawing in, it’s the perfect time to cosy up in your living room and keep warm. Throughout summer, your home will undoubtedly have taken on an open and airy feel, however as the cold of winter approaches, it’s time to turn up the heating, light the fires and go for comfort, as well as style. If you’re after some great autumn additions for your home, here are our top picks.

Huntingtower Tweed Footstool

Autumn styles are all about getting earthy with your colours. Tweed is always a popular option as the colder months roll in, and whether you’re looking at fashion, or home style, tweed is a great option. If you’re trying to add an element of comfort and cosiness to your living room, this Footstool, available at NotOnTheHighStreet is a great option. Adding extra seating for when you entertain, or easily used as a pouffe, this stylish and smart addition will aid in bringing a closer feel to your home. Adding an element of cosiness is always tough, however by adding this to any unused middle ground in your room, it will help to pull your space together.

Candles

With a lack of warmth and a feeling of darkness, evenings throughout the autumn and winter can bring on a feeling of gloominess. If you’re looking to inject a feeling of warmth and fragrance into the air, candles are a favoured option by many. Play around with colours and scents to turn your place from a dull winter home into one with a truly radiant ambiance. In addition, why not try housing your candles in fun and quirky designs? Lanterns are one popular accessory for the home, and with more creative options than ever, you’ll be able to customise the scent, and look of your home.

Rugs

With colder weather, adding a rug to commonly occupied areas is a smart choice. Areas such as your living room or hallway can sometimes lack character, however to provide a more homely and cosy environment over autumn, incorporating a trendy rug is a great option. When it comes to selecting items, it’s always important to take into account the layout and style of your existing room. A cosy feel throughout autumn and winter is good, however there is a fine line between getting it right, and your room ending up cramped. Make sure your new rug pulls elements of your room together, and isn’t just chosen and thrown down without considering the flow of the space as a whole. Remember, more doesn’t necessarily mean better, especially when it comes to furnishing and accessorising.  

Have you already made a start on your autumn accesorising? We always love to hear your ideas, so make sure you drop us a comment below!

Image credit: CC via Prospect Park Alliance

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Affordable ways to freshen up your bathroom decor
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Affordable ways to freshen up your bathroom decor

When the average person decorates a home, the bathroom rarely gets much attention. Perhaps it’s relegated to room-of-necessity status, and therefore doesn’t warrant much on the design front. Even so, a few intentional flourishes – and not necessarily expensive ones – can work wonders for this room. Here are a few tips on how you can freshen up the bathroom without breaking the bank in the process:

1. Splash a bit of colour on the walls. Bathrooms are notoriously drab when it comes to colour and decoration. It seems most homeowners are content to whitewash the room and settle for the odd decoration in the windowsill or above the sink. Add a bold splash of colour to the mix, and you suddenly have a much livelier space that is considerably warmer and more inviting.

2. Add some artwork to the mix. There is certainly nothing wrong with hanging some artwork in the bathroom. When it comes to creativity, the bathroom often gets overlooked, but that only means that you can really transform the space by embracing your creative flair. This is a chance for you to express your personality. Don’t feel the need to limit yourself to pictures of flowers or country farm landscapes. For more, check out this list of tips on hanging art in the bathroom.

3. Incorporate tiles into the decor. Adding tiles to the countertop or even as a backsplash behind the sink is not going to set you back much – especially if you install them yourself. Well-placed tiles add colour to the space, which needs to tie into the overall colour motif already at work in the bathroom. If you do take a DIY approach to tiling a countertop, make sure that you run a bead of caulk between each tile to keep water from seeping in, fostering mildew and doing damage.

4. Re-glaze old, worn-out fixtures. If you have any vintage or worn-out metal fixtures in the bathroom, have a closer look to see if they could use a new finish. Purchasing new fixtures is downright expensive, but having them professionally re-glazed is going to cost significantly less. It’s a subtle but effective way to inject some new sparkle into a worn-out bathroom.

5. Repurpose vintage furniture. This is a wildly popular way to liven up the decor in any room of the house. In the bathroom, you have to be a bit more creative, as a lot of furniture wouldn’t really fit in this room. One clever approach is to take an old vanity, cut a hole in the top and fit your sink into it. Suddenly, you have a hand basin, a mirror and – depending on the vanity – some extra storage space down below.

6. Make a sink skirt. In many cases, the dirtiest place in the bathroom is underneath the sink. Rust and grime have a habit of building up here. Naturally, you want to keep your bathroom as clean as possible, but there are situations in which – no matter how much cleaning you do under the sink – it still looks a bit frightening. If this situation sounds familiar, tasteful sink skirt may be just the solution. You can fashion one out of a bed sheet without any sewing necessary. Here is a tutorial that shows you how.

7. Refresh your countertops with new accessories. Sometimes, breathing a fresh breath of life into the bathroom is as simple as reorganising the countertops. You may not even have to go shopping. Search the cupboards for attractive mugs, jars and bowls that you can use to arrange some of your toiletries. A ceramic saucer or small plate could even be used as a soap rest. Take this opportunity to remove unsightly items from the countertops as well. For example, a can of shaving cream is probably better off stored in the cabinets rather than displayed out for everyone to see.

8. Add a bouquet of fresh flowers. Fresh flowers can liven up any room – and the bathroom is certainly no exception. If the season is right, try slipping a few wildflowers from the garden into a small vase placed either on the countertop or on a stand by the bathtub. If you are looking for a longer-term option, purchase an orchid from a local garden supply shop and hang it on the wall. Orchids can survive for a long time with minimal care, so there’s no need to change it out.

9. Look for ways to tie everything together. Perhaps the most important decorating tip for any room of the house is to be intentional with your tie-ins. Purchase a bathmat that matches your shower curtains. Likewise, choose an accent colour to showcase ever so often – in the tiles of the backsplash, tied into a painting in the wall and featured again in a vase on the windowsill. Being intentional with colour tie-ins can subtly transform a previously drab room into something truly memorable.

Many thanks to Thomas Smith, a freelance writer for Total Bathroom Enterprises,  for contributing this exclusive article to First Home News

Image credit: athomenetwork, license Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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